Ready for surgery after a pain-free birth
14 May 2012 The New Zealand Herald
Jenni Abdelnoor was so happy with the hypnosis she used for the birth of her second child that she would happily have it for surgery. The hypnosis Jenni Abdelnoor had for the birth of her daughter Sage used a technique resembling yogic breathing.
Her son Stanley, now 2, was born by emergency caesarean. When she was pregnant with her daughter Sage, now 10 months, she went on a ‘‘hypnobirthing’’ course. Sage’s delivery was straightforward. ‘‘In terms of pain relief, there was never once I even thought about gas or having an epidural,’’ said Mrs Abdelnoor, 35, of Muriwai.
She said Sage’s birth, with the help of an independent midwife at Waitakere Hospital in West Auckland, was pain-free and very gentle. The hypnotic technique centres on breathing — ‘‘similar to yogic breathing, just taking your body into deep relaxation, and a lot of visualisation’’. ‘‘People spend so long thinking, ‘I don’t want a caesarean, I don’t want medical intervention.’ If you are focusing on what you do want, that’s what you will end up with. It’s teaching you to focus on what you do want.’’
She wrote her ‘‘birth story’’ — her own description of how she wanted it to unfold — four months in advance of her due date and read it every night. Asked if she would consider hypnosis for gallbladder removal or other abdominal surgery should she need it, Mrs Abdelnoor said, ‘‘Yes, 100 per cent.’’ She thought hypnosis was preferable by far because of the potential complications of general anaesthesia.
Picture / Steven Mcnicholl
If Kate Middleton Uses Hypnobirthing, Should You?
Hypnobirth teaches expectant moms to go with the flow
If, as it’s been reported, Kate Middleton is using hypnobirthing to usher in the royal baby, her delivery scene might look something like this: The Duchess of Cambridge rests languidly, her eyes closed as if in a peaceful slumber. Every so often, on experiencing a “surge,” (the hypnobirthing term for contractions), she’ll breathe along with it, as if being lifted by an ocean wave. Gentle music plays while she relaxes further, visualising herself cradled in the misty hues of a rainbow or her hand gloved in endorphins (good-feeling, pain-numbing hormones) activated by Prince William’s gentle strokes of her arm. Gracefully, she breathes – not pushes – a calm and healthy baby through her body.
It’s a far cry from the way childbirth is often portrayed on TV and in movies, where a writhing-in-pain woman-turned-demon excoriates her petrified husband for doing this horrific thing to her.
Does it have to be so bad? As a young woman, Marie “Micky” Mongan felt sure there was a better way. “Babies didn’t need to come into the world in pain, and their mothers didn’t need to suffer as they did,” says Mongan, who founded HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method nearly 25 years ago after helping her daughter and two of her daughter’s friends replicate her childbirth experience. “I had four children without a smidgen of pain,” says Mongan, now 80. “I’m not unusual,” she says. “I’m a woman.”
And that’s the starting point for her method, which relies on deep relaxation and powerful affirmations to promise not a pain-free delivery but an easier one. “Our women trust birth. They trust their bodies,” she says. “They’ve been educated to understand it.”
HypnoBirthing experts say it works by shutting down the so-called fight-or-flight response. If a woman heads into labor in fear, her muscles clench, blocking needed blood flow to the birthing muscles. As the baby moves along the birth canal, that tightness creates pain, which begets fear, and the cycle continues.
“What we’re saying is: ‘Mom, stop mentally trying to process this, and just relax, and let it happen.’ And that is what happens. The body opens, and the baby is born the way nature created,” Mongan says. “Many of our babies don’t even cry when they come into the world, because they haven’t experienced birth trauma,” and are more content as a result, she says.
She adds that the calmness of babies born this way has been ascribed to lower stress hormones as well as the common post-delivery practice of “kangaroo care,” in which the newborn is held against the mother’s chest, with skin touching skin. “Many people think it is ‘healthier’ for the baby to cry after birth. However, the transition to the world outside of the womb does not require crying, and a quiet transition is perfectly fine,” Starck says.
As the name implies, hypnobirthing uses hypnosis. For clarification, it’s not voodoo or mind control, but a technique to bring about a deeply relaxed state in which the conscious mind gives way to the subconscious mind, says Lori Nicholson, a Bethesda, Md.-based certified hypnotist and HypnoBirthing practitioner, fertility consultant and infant massage instructor. If you’ve ever zoned out in front of the TV or on your morning commute, you’ve been in a hypnotic state, she says.
Jessica Alba Explains HypnoBirthing To The Masses — And Ellen
When expectant mama Jessica Alba said that she recommends hypnobirthing classes for other moms-to-be, most people – including Ellen Degeneres – had no idea what she was talking about; thinking she was involved in some kind of far-fetched practice. But as Alba explained to the talk show host, hypnobirthing is not nearly as obscure as the name may suggest.
“It’s not like the clock in front of your face and you go out and you wake up and you got a baby,” Jessica joked. “Basically, my husband takes me through sort of a meditation. He’ll say, ‘You’re relaxed, and you’re floating on clouds,’ while you’re going through labor and your contractions,” she went on to explain.
“I’m just concentrating on breathing and staying relaxed because it’s when you get tense that makes the whole labor worse and more painful,” says the actress. “That’s all it is. It’s not like a weird thing.”
For Jessica, it was her experience with daughter Honor, 2, that led her to look into different methods of relaxation during the birthing process.
“I was freaked out going into it my first time going into labor,” said Alba. “Like what if I panic? What if I just freak out and I don’t know what to do?”
This time, she and hubby Cash Warren plan to be well prepared. “You know normally I want to strangle him but at that moment [concentrating on his voice] is sort of calming and wonderful.”
PHOTO CREDIT: THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW, ARTICLE POSTED HERE.